Ok, time for a quick round up of current alpine climbing conditions. First off, a quick note on Mont Blanc – we had some weird weather on Tuesday when totally unforcast, it rained to well over 4000m (quite spicy getting off the Chere Couloir in that – we abbed down the Perroux instead). This left sheet ice on many slopes high up and all teams setting off on the Trois Monts route from the Cosmiques Hut turned round the following morning.
Elsewhere, conditions are generally better. There has been quite a bit of ice to go at (Gran Paradiso, Lenzspitze, Tour Ronde, Tacul N Faces all seeing traffic) but it’s now got very hot, so ice off limits and drying out fast – there’s a cold front due on Sunday so we’ll see how that affects things.
Most classic snowy 4000m peaks are in good nick (Paradiso, Weissmeis, Allalinhorn, Castor, Pollux, Monta Rosa summits etc), but the Matterhorn is still snowy (drying out fast though, so could come into condition very soon).
We were up on the Aig D’Entreves near the Torino Hut today – Tour Ronde best done via the SE Ridge rather than Col Freshfield, Rochefort Arete and Dent du Geant in good nick (there is still snow in the approach couloir but may not be for long, so get either of these done quick!)
Glacier cover is generally good, so given current temperatures, rock routes and ridge lines offer the best sport at the moment. A final note on the Aiguilles Rouges above Chamonix – there is still a lot of snow around, so boots and an axe are good idea for getting to and from many of the rock routes up there.